IN Carmarthenshire there are just 100 foster carers and more are needed says Carmarthenshire County Council.

Foster Wales – the national network of 22 Welsh local authority fostering teams – has today – Monday, January 8 – announced its aim to recruit more than 800 new foster families by 2026. This would help to provide welcoming homes for children and young people in the care system in Wales.

Currently, there are more than 7,000 children in the care system across Wales, but only 3,800 foster families.

Foster Wales Carmarthenshire has joined the campaign and has asked its current foster carers to share their experiences of foster care and explore the small but significant human attributes that people have which can make the world of difference to people in care.

Jo and Emma are two of these foster carers who have shared their experiences. Jo said: “Fostering has been really rewarding. From helping our foster child experience new things to seeing how much progress they made – especially in school, where we’ve had lots of feedback that they’ve really improved.

“I think people are frightened they’re doing a busy job or they’ve got a busy family already and that it’s going to be impossible. Or, they’ve been put off by the thought of fostering, as they think it’s going to be really hard, but there’s a lot of support.

“You can talk to your fellow foster carers, build a community, and help each other out. With this support system, you feel like you’re not on your own. Because sometimes you’ll think ‘Am I doing this right?’ and it’s just nice to chat with other carers who are in the same situation. You can have a laugh and giggle about it all and that’s important too.”

Jo also provided advice: “Don’t be held back by thinking you’re not good enough. We’ve all lived lives, have stories and a past, but you’re bringing a wealth of experience, and what you’ve learned from your ‘mistakes’ can be so beneficial for children and young people.

“You can foster as a single person, as a same sex couple, you can do it if you’re a man, a woman on your own, if you’re older. Foster Wales run information mornings regularly. So I’d say, come along, chat to some foster carers and learn how it all works.”

Foster Wales found the main barriers to people enquiring included a lack of confidence in their own skills and abilities to support a child in care, the belief that fostering doesn’t fit with certain lifestyles and misconceptions around the criteria to become a carer.

Wales is in the process of a system change in foster caring to eliminate private profit from the care of looked after children, meaning that by 2027, care of children being looked after in Wales will be provided by the public sector, charitable or not-for-profit organisations. This means that local authority foster carers will be more important than ever.

For more information about fostering, or to make an enquiry, visit: